Concert concept (Concert): The concert concept is an innovative construction concept that was invented by Schimmel in 2000 and continuously developed. The patented concept is based on the idea of implementing all the outstanding properties of a large concert grand piano in the smaller instruments as identically as possible. For example, from tone 44 to tone 88, the large scale (acoustic system) of a concert grand piano is always used in models of different sizes. The construction of the soundboard is also identical. This enables us to achieve the same sound characteristics with the concert pianos as with our large K 280 concert grand piano.
Heavy-duty hammer head
Our hammer heads are made from highly elastic merino felt with high flexibility and low damping properties. This is made from the highest quality merino wool in a traditional fulling process in Germany. For the hammer cores we use hardwoods in combination with tension-regulating bottom felts. The result is a great wealth of tones in the different dynamic levels as well as long-lasting tones due to the low damping effect on the strings (short contact period due to highly elastic felt).
Due to the different physical requirements, grand pianos generally play better than upright pianos. By optimizing the lever ratios in the concert mechanism, however, a significant improvement in the playing feel could be achieved. For example, the mechanism is now designed in such a way that the repetition is just as high as that of an average grand piano.
“Mineral coatings” are used for the whole tones in all Schimmel instruments. These were developed by Schimmel and have particularly beneficial properties for pianists. They offer a secure and pleasant playing feel and are “glare-free” thanks to the matted surface, which is particularly advantageous for the pianist on stages with spotlights.
Tonewood from the region
We call tonewood all the resonance woods that produce the sound. For this we use mountain spruce from the Bavarian and Bohemian forests, the origin of the tonewood of the German instrument makers. We only use the perfect wood for this, which has slowly grown in high registers so that soundboards with optimal vibration properties can be joined. The trees are pre-selected in the forests and then specially cut open and dried over long periods of time. Despite this intensive pre-selection, only about 2% of the timber obtained in this way is suitable for our soundboard production.
Three-dimensional stretched soundboard with cut membrane
Making the soundboard is a complicated and lengthy process. The thickness of the soundboard at the various points, wood moisture content of the assembled parts and subsequent “tension” of the soundboard when the soundboard is joined to the notches are just some of the factors that have a great influence on the later richness of sound, an even sound development and long-lasting tones. Depending on the sound character to be achieved, our soundboards are manufactured differently. Soundboards with a membrane-like finish are particularly complex to manufacture, but they also provide excellent vibration properties.
Mass reduced bridge
The bridge transfers and distributes the vibrations of the strings to the soundboard. Schimmel invented the “mass-reduced bridge” so that the bridge can withstand the string tension, transmit the energy optimally and at the same time prevent the soundboard from vibrating freely as little as possible. A dynamic contour is milled into the flanks of the bridge, which ensures that the richness of timbre is increased and the tones sound longer. An innovative idea that still received a patent even after more than 300 years of traditional piano construction.
Dynamic Tone Bar
The “Dynamic Tone Bar” is clamped to the soundboard during the production of the soundboard. This regulates the flow of energy in the soundboard when playing at different volumes, allowing for a greater range of tonal colors depending on the attack and volume. This is what we call high tonal dynamics. Depending on the size and shape of the soundboard, we use either one or two “Dynamic Bars” to achieve the best possible result. (see table)
grand piano scale
The string system, the so-called scale length, of a large concert grand offers optimal physical properties for a great grand piano sound. For all Schimmel grands, concert pianos and the large Classic uprights C 126 and C 130, we have therefore adopted the middle register and the treble (tone 44 to 88) in all grand sizes identically from our large K 280 concert grand. In this way we achieve the same sound characteristics as with a large grand piano.
Scales are sections of strings that are not made to vibrate directly by the hammer head, but vibrate through energy transfer and generate partial tones that provide even more richness of sound and longer tones and strongly shape the sound character. These areas are very sensitive and need to be crafted with precision to sound right. For this reason we use CNC machined scales. With our concert grand pianos, the scales can even be tuned afterwards, so that they can later be voiced by ear. Depending on the model, either no scale, one or even two scales are used, resulting in one, two (duplex) or three (triplex) sound-producing sections of a string. (see table)
Multi-layer reed block
We use pinblocks with thin hardwood layers so that the instrument keeps the tuning optimally and is easy to tune. These were already developed by Schimmel in the 1950s as so-called “tropical climate-resistant” reed blocks and have proven themselves over the decades.
Traditionally, pianos are equipped with small metal rollers. In our experience, however, these are rarely used. The risk of damaging the floor is quite high. For this reason, we equip our pianos with high-quality glides that are coated with Delrin from below. This allows for easier gliding on smooth hard floors and reduces the likelihood of floor damage. In addition, the front gliders can be adjusted in height to compensate for uneven floors. This prevents the instrument from twisting and improves the tuning and the stability of the regulation.
Extended manufacturer warranty
Schimmel offers an extended manufacturer’s warranty through its network of specialist dealers. Because we trust and stand by the quality of our instruments.
CAPE – Designed by Schimmel
As early as the 1980s, Schimmel was working with computers to improve the construction of his instruments, making him a pioneer in the piano industry. Since then, the use of computers in construction has been constantly further developed and is now known as CAPE (Computer Assisted Piano Engineering) as a unique and comprehensive software solution that incorporates decades of development work and research results. On this basis, new ideas and constructions are constantly being created that set standards in the industry. The use of CNC machines for the production of precision parts has also been promoted since the 1990s. These are added to our instruments exclusively by hand and are a prerequisite for achieving the highest quality.
Environmental protection and sustainability have been part of the company philosophy at Schimmel since the company was founded in 1885. It starts with the quality of our instruments. With a Schimmel instrument, you are purchasing a durable product that will be used for many years, often for generations. Which industry can say that it keeps receiving requests for spare parts for products that are more than 100 years old? Durability conserves resources. In addition, we manufacture our instruments from predominantly renewable raw materials – domestic wood from certified forestry and wool – and our cast iron plates are made from recycled scrap metal in a complex process. The wood leftovers and shavings from production are used to heat the production facility in winter, and on the roof of the manufactory we generate solar power. Bio filters and a modern heating system complete our production. Of course, we produce according to the high German environmental standards. This not only applies to our manufactory in Braunschweig | Germany, but also in Kalisz | Poland. In China, the production of our Fridolin instruments is environmentally certified according to ISO 14001 in order to ensure our high standards of environmental protection and sustainability here as well.